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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting New York City FC

NYCFC is unbeaten in their last five home games.

MLS: New York City FC at New England Revolution Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas flies to New York after a league loss to Colorado and an Open Cup victory. City return home after being defeated in New England 3-1.

Battle for the East

NYC have trailed off a little in recent weeks, but they are still in the Supporters’ Shield race. They also still have time to pass Toronto for first place in the East. NYC at home, in a battle for playoff relevance and possibly silverware is going to be a tough game for FC Dallas. Will Dallas emotional victory Tuesday be enough to see them past New York?

Potential Lineup

New York City will miss Connor Grant, Maxine Chanot, and Shannon Gomez for this week’s matchup.

GK: Josh Saunders; LB: Ronald Matarrita; CB: Jefferson Mena, Frederic Brillant; RB: Jason Hernandez; CM: Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Federico Bravo; RW: Jack Harrison; LW: Steven Mendoza; FW: David Villa.

Key Matchup

Mauro Díaz vs. Federico Bravo. Diaz had one of his best ever performances Tuesday and riding off that high, will be a force to be reckoned with. If Diaz stays hot, then he can and will run this game. Bravo has to limit Diaz impact as the only center-mid under 37 years old. Bravo will be asked to do a lot and if he doesn’t Diaz could own this game.

Keys to Three Points

Ride the Tuesday High

FC Dallas have a lot of momentum they can tap into after that win Tuesday. They have nothing to worry about except the league and can focus intently on winning their next trophy. If they come out fast and take the game to New York they might catch the old team off guard.

Beware the Diamonds

Dallas has two huge things to watch for tonight, first, the tiny field in NYC will severely limit Dallas ability to play fast and on the counter, they won’t have enough space to get in behind as often as they like. Second, they have to beware David Villa, who may be old, but still has a brilliant finish and can burn any team if given the opportunity.

Picking the Right Team

Dallas and Oscar Pareja have a knack for losing games before they even step on the field. Colorado was a good example of poor lineup decisions ruining Dallas chances. Picking the right squad will be crucial to winning this game. In Papi We Trust.


Dallas focuses on the league, and their old guys beat NYC’s.

My Prediction: 2-1 FC Dallas.